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Buzz Around New Coins To Mark 50 Years Since Lunar Landing

The Royal Australian Mint has relased four new coins to commemorate the lunar landings 50 years ago.

The collection is a collaborative project between the Royal Australian Mint and the United States Mint.

The coins celebrate Australia's place in history by providing the Parkes Observatory to capture the infamous footage of the Apollo 11 landing on July 20, 1969.

More than 500 million people around the world watched "one small step for man", with images beamed through the satellite in NSW's Central West.

Front of the $100 coin. Photo: Royal Australian Mint

“This jointly–issued coin set magnificently symbolises our long-standing alliance and friendship with Australia,” said United States Mint Director David Ryder.

“Many Americans will remember listening for the critical reports from the tracking stations in Australia at Carnarvon, Honeysuckle Creek, Tidbinbilla and Parkes, as the Apollo 11 spacecraft travelled to, orbited and landed on the Moon.”

Front of the $5 coin. Photo: Royal Australian Mint

The Australian collection has two coins, a gold $100 coin and a nickel plated silver proof $5 coin, and are collectors pieces only.

The gold coin features an iconic image of Neil Armstrong standing on the Moon. The Earth, with Australia visible in the background, sits in the background.

The $5 coin features the same image, but the Earth is in colour.

Back of the $100 coin. Photo: Royal Australian MintOn the back of each coin is the Parkes satellite pointing at the Moon, with an excerpt from Armstong's diary about the lunar landing.

Both coins are domed-shaped to represent the satellite.

Both coins are domed-shaped. Photo: Royal Australian Mint

“We are very pleased that the Royal Australian Mint is entering into a product partnership with the United States Mint to bring customers a unique collectible that marks one of mankind’s most remarkable achievements,” said Senator the Hon. Zed Seselja, the Australian Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance.

“The collaboration highlights the unique part Australia had to play in sending a man to the Moon.”

Back of the $5 coin. Photo: Royal Australian Mint

The U.S. collection features a a half dollar coin, that shows the famous footprint left on the Moon's surface by Armstrong.

The other side shows the reflection of Armstrong standing next to the lunar module Eagle in Buzz Aldrin's helmet, with his own shadow visible.

The U.S. coin can be bought in Australia as part of a set with a silver version of the $5 coin, and will set you back $195.

Two coin set, $5 and U.S. half dollar. Photo: Royal Australian Mint

The nickel plated $5 coin costs $195, but if you have cash to splash, the gold $100 coin retails at $2795.

An uncirculated set of six coins ($2, $1, 50c, 20c, 10, 5c) retails at a more reasonable price of $25.

Six coin set. Photo: Royal Australian Mint

Contact the author at jdunne@networkten.com.au.